FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's lacrosse team earned its second straight Northeast Conference Tournament berth Sunday with a 16-15 win Sunday over the Robert Morris Colonials at Campus Field on Senior Day. The win, coupled with Mount St. Mary's loss at Central Connecticut, gave the Pioneers the fourth and final spot in the upcoming NEC Tournament.
Prior to Sunday's game, Sacred Heart honored the nine seniors on the 2017 team – Samantha Carpinello, Alyssa Pearce, Emily Corrice, Liana Doyle, Brenna Betsch, Caitlin Delaney, Kylie Calandra, Paige Devine, and Emily Kick. Pearce led SHU with four goals, adding an assist for five points. Delaney also had five points on three goals and two assists, adding five draw controls, four groundballs, and three caused turnovers. Doyle had three assists and four points. Kick and Hanna Wise both had hat tricks.
Robert Morris (11-6, 5-2 NEC) opened the game with goals by Maggie Stella and Annie Sachs to take a 2-0 lead with 26:39 to go in the first half. SHU then came alive with a 6-1 run over 10:41 to take a 6-3 lead. Kick scored three times during the run, with Pearce, Doyle, and Delaney each adding a goal. The Colonials responded with a 5-0 run to end the half, taking an 8-6 lead. Stella and Clio Kerr each scored twice for Robert Morris as they took a two-goal advantage into the intermission.
The Colonials opened the second half on a 3-1 run as Niki Grillon's goal at the 24:37 mark gave Robert Morris an 11-7 lead. Sacred Heart (6-10, 4-3 NEC), just like in the first half, got back in the game with another 6-1 run. Wise and Delaney both scored twice as SHU took a 13-12 lead with 17:50 to go. The two sides then traded goals, as tallies by Pearce and Wise kept the Pioneers in front 15-14 with 6:43 remaining. Three minutes later Sophia Eureka scored for Robert Morris to tie the game 15-15. Pearce then scored less than a minute later, assisted by Delaney, to give SHU a 16-15 lead with 2:32 left.
Robert Morris took the next draw control, holding for a chance to tie the game. Paige Hammick made a save on a shot from Sachs with just over a minute to go, but turned the ball over on the clear to give the Colonials one more opportunity to force overtime. However, time would run out on Robert Morris as the Pioneers hung on for the win.
Both teams had 29 shots in the game. Sacred Heart held a 15-13 advantage in groundballs, while Robert Morris had a 21-12 edge in draw controls. Stella led the Colonials with four goals, as Clio Kerr, Thalia Zolis, and Mackenzie Gandy all had three points.
SHU will be the fourth-seed in the NEC Tournament, which will be hosted by Bryant. The Pioneers will take on the Bulldogs on Friday, May 5 with the game time to be announced.